Resilience of Business During a Downturn

It is no secret that an economic downturn can have serious effects on countries, governments, companies, and people at different levels. Typically these mega scale economic downturns are caused by events known as “Black Swans”. The term Black Swan in reference to small events having a large-scale impact was coined by the famous author Nassim Nicholas Taleb in his book “Black Swan” in year 2007 (Nassim Nicholas Taleb – Wikipedia). These events leave many unsuspecting companies and persons badly affected while it could potentially benefit those who keep an open mind for the possibility of such events.

Vivo Asia operated mainly in an industry that was able to wither the first two or 3 black swan events in the new millennium. Oil prices were not affected by the last three economic downturns prior to Covid-19 and as a result a number of companies mushroomed to benefit from a booming industry. However not all these companies operated profitably and the recent slump in oil prices forced them to face the music and a number of such companies have either closed their operations or shifted to focus on other industries that are up and booming.

While acknowledging the fact that oil & gas could be a sunset industry it is difficult for a company to totally abandon its client base. At the same time, it is also challenging to develop new competencies required to be a key player in new industries. Being a small and medium enterprise allows Vivo Asia to pivot easily to new areas of focus. Our offerings are required in areas such as pharmaceutical, semiconductor and data centers. We look forward to the easing of restrictions and a return to a new normal where business can thrive again. The upgrading of our skills and systems during the downturn will also allow us to be back with a refreshed outlook. Hoping for clear blue skies!

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